Our political alliances may divide us. Our preference between Star Wars and Star Trek may be a point of controversy. But there is one thing on which we can all agree on: comics rule. And it isn’t just us regular schlubs thumbing through dogeared copies of Amazing Spider-Man; no, from movie stars to models, there are plenty of famous fans of the medium. While plenty of the rich and famous can be found perusing the comic racks in hunt of the latest issues from Marvel and DC, there are some famous fans that take their love for comics just a little further; after all, why just read comics when you can go and create your own?
Yes, when you star in million dollar movies and hit TV shows, it turns out there are plenty of comic companies eager to help you realize your comic writing dream. And it isn’t just the B and C-List stars taking the comic book plunge. Plenty of bonafide stars are writing comics these days. From professional crazy person Nicolas Cage to professional badass Samuel L. Jackson, all sorts of celebrities are putting out comics. So join CBR as we pull back to curtain and show you the 15 celebrities you NEVER knew wrote comics!
15. NICOLAS CAGE
Noted weird guy and famed comic book nerd Nicolas Cage has never been one to turn down a project. Turns out, Cage’s “never say no” ethos doesn’t just apply to movies; when presented with the chance to script a comic for Virgin Comics, Cage enlisted his son Weston and got to work on a story that is truly, positively Cage.
The six-issue Voodoo Child dealt with a subject near and dear to Cage’s heart: voodoo. Set in a post-Katrina New Orleans, the story followed an 1800’s abolitionist resurrected by voodoo magic in 2005, as the “Voodoo Child” crosses paths with a detective tasked with investigating the mysterious disappearances of several young girls. Voodoo hijinks ensue. Reviews were not kind to Voodoo Child, but Cage was so busy buying dinosaur skulls that he likely didn’t even notice.
14. SAMUEL L. JACKSON
Many celebrities would be perfectly satisfied just writing their own comic. But Samuel L. Jackson isn’t like most celebrities. Jackson has captured fans hearts as the cycloptic Nick Fury, he’s rocked a mean perm in Pulp Fiction, and he’s even survived a plane full of snakes. So when Sam Jackson decided to write a comic, he wasn’t satisfied just writing any old comic; no, Jackson wrote a comic starring himself.
In Cold Space, Jackson teamed with writer Eric Calderon to deliver a story about an outlaw (who just so happens to look like Jackson) adrift in space, landing on a backwater planet on the verge of all out war. Plenty of action and creative uses of the “MF” word follow. Jackson has expressed interest in bringing Cold Space to the big screen, but whether this dream will be realized, and whether Jackson will ever return to comics, remains to be seen.
13. TYRESE GIBSON
If you need an actor to drive a car fast and occasionally take off his shirt, Tyrese Gibson is your man. Best known for his reoccurring role in the Fast & Furious franchise, Gibson managed to find a time he wasn’t driving a car fast or taking off his shirt and sat down to write his own comic.
Tyrese Gibson’s Mayhem! followed a masked vigilante waging a one-man war against a crime lord known as Big X. The comic was panned upon release, and Gibson’s public spat with comic retailers over anticipated sales of the comic led to many stores refusing to carry the title. Perhaps realizing that comic writing involved little to no fast car driving or taking off of shirts, Tyrese returned to acting, leaving Mayhem! as a curious footnote for the actor.
12. ROSARIO DAWSON
These days, comic fans might best know Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, serving as the connecting character between Marvel’s Netflix series. But Dawson has been acting since 1995, making her debut in the acclaimed Kids and popping up in movies such as Clerks II and Sin City. Acting clearly keeps Dawson busy, but the actress is very vocal about her other love in life: comics.
A longtime comic reader, Dawson got to realize her dream in creating a comic of her own when she co-wrote Occult Crimes Taskforce with writer David Atchison in 2006. Following the exploits of a team of New York police investigators tasked with combating occult crime, the series received positive reviews and was eventually optioned for a TV series by A&E. While this TV show has yet to materialize, Dawson hopes to one day revisit the world she has created in OCT.
11. MARK HAMILL
Mark Hamill has built a career out of bringing life to beloved nerd characters; after all, this is the man who gave us Luke Skywalker and one of the most iconic representations of The Joker. Whether he’s lending his golden pipes to a number of popular cartoons or troubling the Flash as the Trickster, Hamill manages to stay plenty busy. But he carved out some time for himself in the late ’90s to write an oddball take on the “shadowy vigilante” trope.
Hamill-penned The Black Pearl, which follows a mentally imbalanced man who accidentally stumbles into the role of a city’s dark vigilante after pressure from the media. Hamill wrote the story as a darkly comedic examination of America’s obsession with sensationalist journalism, and had originally intended to turn the six-issue comic into a film that he would direct. While the movie never materialized, Hamill hasn’t given up hope on his one and only foray into comics.
10. BILL HADER
Bill Hader has made a career out of being hilarious. Whether bringing the house down on SNL or making memorable appearances in films such as Superbad and Hot Rod, Hader always manages to stand out with his unique style of improv comedy. But when Hader isn’t busy being one of the most consistently hilarious voices in comedy, he finds the time to enjoy one of his greatest passions: comic books. In 2009, Hader, along with fellow SNL performer Seth Meyers, managed to parlay this fandom into a gig writing Spider-Man.
The Short Halloween was a comedic tale that chronicled Spider-Man being knocked unconscious during a Halloween parade, leading to the Webhead being replaced by a drunken party attendee dressed like Spidey. The one-shot was praised for its humorous take on the classic Marvel hero, and Hader has expressed interest in returning to comics, but no further comic projects have materialized since.
9. ANTHONY BOURDAIN
Anthony Bourdain pretty much has the best job in the world: this casually profane chef travels around the globe, drinking and sampling the best food the world has to offer, while starring in hit TV travel shows and churning out hit autobiographies. When the man isn’t busy living the life everyone dreams of, he somehow finds the time to write his own comic.
In Get Jiro!, Bourdain teamed with novelist Joel Rose to craft a story set in a bleak future version of Los Angeles that is lorded over by master chefs. As chefs fight over culinary practices and kill for the best ingredients, a rogue sushi chef named Jiro arrives and upends the system, sending the food-obsessed L.A. spiraling into gang warfare. Get Jiro! received glowing reviews for its oddball world, and Bourdain would go on to pen a sequel. He definitely has no reservations about doing more comics in the future, and has even announced a new project recently.
8. JOHN CLEESE
No medium is safe from the razor-sharp wit of John Cleese. The longtime Monty Python member has been lending his distinctly British humor to television and film for decades, all while finding time to grace the stage. Cleese even managed to bring his thoroughly English approach to comedy to the world of comics, bringing his trademark wit to the world of Superman.
In 2004, Cleese, with assistance from Kim Howard Johnson, penned Superman: True Brit, an Elseworlds tale that examines what it would have been like if Superman’s ship had landed in England rather than rural America. The newly christened “Colin Clark” is raised to hide his powers and abide by a thoroughly British philosophy: “What would the neighbours think?” The comic served as a send up of the tabloid culture of the United Kingdom, opting for laughs more than heroics. Mixed reviews followed, and Cleese has yet to return to comics.
7. JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT
When you think of Jennifer Love Hewitt, comic books probably aren’t the first thing to spring to mind. This former star of Party of Five made a splash in movies in the ’90s before transitioning back to TV, starring in shows such as Ghost Whisperer and Criminal Minds. But in between all the TV shows, movies and ill-advised albums, JLH found time to concoct an idea for a comic of her own.
Dubbed Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Music Box, this anthology series followed a magical music box that is encountered by individuals throughout time, bringing strange occurrences with it. While JLH handled the outlining of the series, respected comic writer Scott Lobdell took on the actual writing duties, giving the series some true comic cred. Despite Lobdell’s involvement, the series received primarily negative reviews, and Jennifer Love Hewitt has stayed far away from comics ever since.
6. RASHIDA JONES
Whether you know her best as Ann Perkins on Parks and Recreation or from one of her dozens of movie roles, you definitely know Rashida Jones. She stays plenty busy with TV appearances, script writing gigs, and even modeling, but she still managed to carve out time to try out something different: creating a comic.
The Jones-created Frenemy Of The State first hit shelves in 2009, following the exploits of a jet-setting socialite that is recruited by the CIA. Despite receiving mixed reviews, Jones’ series garnered plenty of interest, with Frenemy Of The State being optioned for a movie by Universal Pictures before the first issue even released. Jones has gone on to pen a monthly comic for Glamour Magazine, so it seems like Jones has no intention of leaving comics behind.
5. THOMAS JANE
Marvel fans may know Thomas Jane best as the gravel-voiced Frank Castle in 2004’s The Punisher, but Jane is so much more than a perpetual frown and a skull t-shirt; he is also an accomplished actor, making appearances in everything from Boogie Nights to The Mist. But in between all the acting and directing he does, Jane found time to write a damn good comic. But only after dreaming up the idea after ingesting a boat load of Vicodin
Jane wrote the six-issue Bad Planet with acclaimed horror comic writer Steve Niles, basing the story on a fever dream the actor had about “horrible alien deathspiders” while out of his mind of pain meds. The comic concerns alien creatures that roam the cosmos, wiping out planets, that eventually make their way to Earth. The comic released to rave reviews, and Jane has expressed interest in returning to comics.
4. JONATHAN ROSS
With his sharp wit and deadpan delivery, Jonathan Ross has managed to cement himself as a bonafide star across the pond in the UK, where the English comedian hosts several popular TV and radio shows. While the dapper Englishman may not seem the type, Ross is a loud and proud comic book fan, even managing to parlay his love for the medium into a gig creating and writing his own comic for Image.
Turf, released in 2010, delivers a ripping yarn about gang warfare in 1920’s Prohibition era America, where the gangs just so happen to be composed of vampires and aliens, respectively. The five-issue series received mixed reviews, but reviewers agreed the story was inventive and indicative that the first-time comic writer had some fun ideas. Ross has yet to pen a follow up, but it’s likely only a matter of time until the sardonic Brit returns to the medium.
3. TOM MORELLO
As the guitarist of political rap rock band Rage Against The Machine, Morello has made a name for himself as much for his legendary skills on the frets as he has for his outspoken nature concerning his political leanings. Morello has been a strong proponent for combating global warming, so it only makes sense that he used this pressing issue to serve as the basis for his first foray into comics.
In the 12-issue Orchid, Morello crafts a tale involving a world ravaged by global warming, in which the tides have risen and submerged large swaths of the world underwater, causing the world to devolve into a fascist hellhole. Mix in a teenage hooker turned revolutionary and killer super animals run amok, and you’ve got one enthralling read. Morello, a long time comic fan, garnered praise for his first comic, and the RATM guitarist has expressed interest in returning to comics in the future.
Best known as the pasty, musclebound frontman of legendary horror punk band The Misfits, Glenn Danzig, or Danzig as he prefers to be called, because “Glenn” doesn’t sound very punk, has gone on to enjoy a successful career as a solo artist. But not satisfied being the buffest Goth on the planet, Danzig would find a new calling outside of music: comics.
Danzig would found his own comic company in 1994. Dubbed Verotik Comics, the company prided itself on focusing on stories mixing the violent and the erotic, hence the portmanteau name. Danzig would personally write comics such as Goth, while also overseeing the publication of titles such as Satanika and Grub Girl, the latter of which would be optioned into a porno directed by “Craven Moorehead.” Yes, really. Musician, comic publisher, and guy who signs off on a porn directed by a man named “Craven Moorehead”? Danzig is a true renaissance man.
1. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR
While Samuel L. Jackson managed to write a comic about himself that captured the feeling of one of his big budget films, tasseled pro wrestler The Ultimate Warrior decided to write a comic starring himself that was more 100% pure insanity.
James Hellwig made a name for himself in the late ’80s as the Ultimate Warrior, establishing himself as a major star in the WWF with his neon face paint and borderline incoherent promos. After his run in WWF, Hellwig would go on to pen and star in his own comic, fittingly titled Warrior. In Warrior, Warrior presents himself as an inter dimensional being, sent to Earth to fight crime. Across four issues, Warrior would fight thugs and goons, a mirror image of himself, and eventually Santa and The Grinch. Oh yeah, and the comic implicates that Warrior killed Nelson Mandela. There are wacky celebrity-penned comics, and then there is this weapons-grade craziness.
Which other celebrities do you know that wrote comics? Drop some names in the comments!
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